Saturday, July 8, 2017

Road Trip!

Today we had to get off the ship. The plan was to pick up a car and drive home. Why? Because the rental for the car was $10. Generally, while the drive is long (10ish hours), it's really not a bad drive, so why not?

We never do breakfast in our dining room on debarkation day, because it's generally bus and everybody has their carry-off luggage. Instead we went to Cabanas, where we saw our pal and Palo server Amanda. After eating and saying our goodbyes, we headed to the atrium to await deboarding.

When we got there, there was quite a crowd. Usually it's not filled with people, but today it was. It seemed to be a large number of people doing "early walkoff" where you tote all your luggage off yourself. We waited awhile, then determined that anyone that wanted to was getting off, so we joined the crowd. Including the dude who was getting off with his box fan that he was carrying on his back.

There was a lot of waiting, because the crowd was so large, but eventually we made it to the customs room/luggage room, found our luggage, and headed for the rental car van. Later Molly found out that the reason there was such a crowd was because the Customs people delayed debarkation because apparently the Border Police had to escort someone off in handcuffs. Guess we missed that. At least it wasn't us for supposedly not going to the safety drill!!

Anyhow, we got to the rental car van just in time. The two families in the van with us had about a billion pieces of large luggage, so we couldn't carry any more, so our driver took off with us to the rental car center.

This time, we were renting with Alamo, and the service center is way different than the usual rental car place we use. It's like the difference between going to your local one-a-year carnival that sets up in the mall parking lot and Disney World. Alamo's service center was huge and nice and lovely - quite different from the gas station that we usually rent from.

Anyhow, Steve, our rental agent, enjoyed renting us our car, which ended up having only 5 miles on it - new car!!  I loaded it up while Molly visited the bathroom facilities, and soon we were off! Since we had to go through Orlando anyway, we decided to stop at the outlet mall, and may have purchased a few things. As well as we did at Ikea - hey, we had the space, so why not?

The trip home was not as wonderful as I had hoped. For one thing, we kept running into rain, sometimes quite powerful rain. And then there was the traffic, sometimes quite slow traffic. We did discover the quick toll road through Atlanta that uses our Florida toll pass, so we made up some time there. Also, I am quite spoiled with satellite radio, and was bored when I couldn't find any kind of talk radio on the car radio. Molly came to the rescue and found some podcasts of Mike Rowe which entertained me (and put Molly to sleep).

Anyhow, we stopped once for lunch and once for gas and once to get snacks (at possibly the worst and filthiest Chick Fil A ever). We breezed into Nashville, trying to figure out the rental car return. After attempting to make plans with various family members, we finally decided that I would take Molly home, unload my stuff at home, and then head to the airport to turn the car in and wait for Steve, who was returning from Moldova.

Once at the airport, I waited for an Alamo person, who never materialized. Finally a lady walked over and said to just put the keys on the dash, because the car got time-stamped when we drove over the spikey things. We'll see on the final bill if that was true ... By the time I got the car checked in (supposedly), Steve had arrived and was waiting at the Uber stop for our ride home.

It's nice to be home again - now time to get stuff done until the next trip!!
Blessings today include: great rental car experience in Port Canaveral; safe trip home; Molly finding something to listen to; Steve's safe trip back

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